Greetings and welcome to the series of Articles “X Chapters so far” where an Anime will be covered up in big chunks of episodes! This time now it is the turn for the Card Aime “Cardfight!! Vanguard G: NEXT”!
The Series is the new season of the Cardfight!! Vanguard G Series and the past Season it was covered up on the “In The Latest Chapter Of...” Articles. So having that into account let us start!
Cardfight!! Vangaurd G: Next is chronologically located some time after the event of “Cardfight!! Vanguard G: Stride Gate” where after fighting against Ryuzu the world has come back to be normal and our Heroes had graduated from Middle School and entered High School separating their ways in order to follow their individual future and goals… Little did they know that Chrono, Shion and Tokoha will face each other for the sake of their own individual futures, in the stage known as the “Under 20 Championship”...
This Chapter is basically centered in Chrono and his new life since he entered in High School (Tokyo Metropolitan Harumi High School) already, now he is in a similar situation as he was back in middle school due that Shion went to a rich´s people High School and Tokoha went to study to France…So basically in the school he is bored and with little to no fun or interest, at the same time… His glorious past as a Vanguard player is biting him in the arse, since even before he gets a chance to join a club everyone says something among the lines of:
“Oh, so you are into Card Games, Huh? … So you must not be interested in [Insert Club activity]” or “So you where like a Champion or something, right? You must be very busy to join this club!”.
Making, obviously that Chrono is not having the time of his life in this new school life of his, it doesn´t help either that Kumi (Tokoha´s BFF) is in another group so he can´t talk a lot with her, and even worse that it seems that both Shion and Tokoha are having a good time since Shion is doing an excellent job rescuing Kiba group and Tokoha has learned tot alk French and even be a some sort of correspondent for the Vanguard Association since she is even interviewing high Vanguard players from Europe!
Still, not everything is bad for Chrono since he is the new employee of Card Capital 2 since Kamui is going back to Card Capital 1… Which means he won´t be around much now. Continuing with that in the chapter he gets to know a mysterious person… Someone who wanted to try his strength against the so called “Generation Master” , this person is Kazumi Onimaru.
While Chrono started the fight without too much expectations (since it wasn´t the first time someone challenged him for that very reason) he was surprised by the abilities of Kazumi, and how he easily defeated our Main Character!
After such fight and with the loss of Chrono, the Gear Chronicle gets to know by searching Kazumi´s name that he is the Under-20 National Champion! But not only that since he also gets to know that such tournament will be held soon! And because of that Chrono has a new objective! To go to such tournament and get his rematch!
The Second chapter is basically the “tutorial chapter” of the season, since we get to know the rules of the game. Still everything starts with Chrono who finds out that the U-20 Championship is a team tournament, so he needs 2 other persons to form a team with, one of them is secure and it´s Taiyou, his lil buddy who is now in Middle School.
Now Chrono needs another person and for some reason he won´t call Shion, suddenly a dude from his class enters… Kazuma Shouji , and he wants a little recap of the Vanguard rules since his friends are suddenly very into it. Shouji says that he remembers he played this game some years ago; but can´t quite remember the rules…
In any case, the match starts and… Well, if you are curious about the rules then this chapter is a must watch since it explains the basics really good and in an entertaining way! I will continue with this in a future paragraph; but for the time being let´s continue.
Shouji suddenly stats doing some good moves and Chrono is amazed by Shouji´s Skills/Hability. In any case, Chrono gives his all and corners Shouji, who suddenly decides to quit and give up saying that it was obvious that he was going to lose, so he decided to leave it at that, that doesn´t sit well with Chrono who checks and Shouji had a Heal Trigger as the following card, so he could have a way to survive the attack! His words goes to deaf ears and Shouji leaves, leaving Chrono very frustrated by his classmate attitude to things.
This point is interesting since it shows the difference between Chrono and Shouji personalities since the first one is passionate and wants to go to the bitter end, even if it means losing; while Shouji is more pessimist about things and prefer to quit it when the things starts going south; even if there is hope to recover. Also their hair cuts are basically opposites, in any case it seems that Shouji has a bad past experience with this game, and it is the reason he doesn´t enjoy playing it… Or rather losing in it.
Now, going back to the rules, this is important in order to fully enjoy Cardfight!! Vanguard´s Anime since when I started watching it, I fell in love with it due that the fact to know the rules it totally changes how the things are watched. In Yu-Gi-Oh! The rules are never explained so one has to figure it out and even more than one time we can see that the anime characters breaks a lot of rules that the real game has; other example is in Duel Masters where while they follow the rules of the game, if one doesn´t know them, one doesn´t know what is happening (Wixoss Lostorage is using this formula); finally it is where we don´t see much if at all about them (wixoss firs 2 seasons) making the fights (while some times it can be a feast for the eyes) feeling like a side show, something that one expects to know the results soon and keeps moving forward.
In Vanguard that doesn´t happen very often and most of the time, by knowing the rules, one can get excited not only for the results of this; but for the fight itself, similar to how in Sports anime the matches can be very awesome and dramatic. Watching the 2 parts making awesome moves and even understand them! For me that’s it´s one of the things that makes Vanguard one of the best in the Card games genre.
The next chapter is basically a follow out of the past one, mostly since Chrono was able to see what Shouji can brings to the table if he just stops being such a quitter! That is because Chrono wants him to be part of his team, and he gets rejected time after time.
Chrono then decides to investigate Shouji, and it seems that he plays Vangaurd, although his “friends” are basically rascals and if one wins a battle the others will do what he wants.
Continuing Taiyou wonders why Chrono wants to have that Shouji guy on his team, so he decides to go and investigate on him. Taiyou reaches the same place where Shouji is and he is captured and about to get the beaten by those rascals until Shouji saves him by telling them that Taiyou is a kid from his neighbor who always pester him to play… All of those things are lies; the rascals leave the place and Taiyou is safe and suddenly Chrono gets to the place and Taiyou wants to fight… But so does Chrono, after a little and weird discussion about who will fight Shouji in the end Taiyou is the chosen by Shouji to fight.
The fight is good and we can see the new cards and powers of both Taiyou who uses Gold Paladin and Shouji who uses Dark Paladins. Also it is funny how Shouji calls that Taiyou is an elementary School kid when in fact Taiyou is a middle school one… But hey, he is short and looks innocent!
After some turns the things starts to look bleak for Shouji and Chrono asks him if he is going to leave? since he understands Shouji now… For some reason he doesn´t like losing, so he prefers to quit before facing the chance of losing since if he quits then maybe his opponent won; but he didn´t lose. That truth makes him endure the full fight and gives his all… There is a little more about that; but I will talk about it in a future paragraph. In any case Shouji lose, and he gets forcefully into Chrono´s team for the Under 20 championship!
Now talking a little more about Shouji, it seems he had a traumatic experience with Vanguard… It is too early to make any kind of guess; but there is one thing certain and it is that “his cards never left him alone” which opens the gate of a certain supernatural element in this season.
This Chapter changes… Well everything, from the characters and the setting. Now we are at Fukuhara High school, a prestigious School where the best of the best of the best go, where it is in sports, arts, science, you name it! And of course that includes Vanguard. This School even won the interschool championship in Vanguard when the formers national champions Ren, Asaka and the pop Idol Suiko studied in here; but that is ancient story now.
In any case, Shion is studying here and he has a shinning school life by getting good grades, a fencing student and a chicks magnet, still he has also a thing where he has decided willingly to take a more undercover road… He is part of the Vanguard Club.
Some years ago, Fukuhara´s School had a Vangaurd club, and one very big, they had the most cutting edge technology and even personal instructors, if you wanted to make it big in this TCG this was the place to go!... But that is ancient story now, and the years haven´t been good with this club which was the “best of the best”; now… Only 2 members are left: Shion and his Sempai and leader of the club Henri. Their big room has been changed for a very little one who is shared as the theatrics and/or fashion club as a storehouse.
Shion starts remembering the moment when he joined the club, he sought Henri basically begging to anyone to join; but the timid young man always received negatives, since the people could always go to a shop and play if they ever wanted, no? In any case Shion looked at that and Henri invited him; Shion gets to know that Henri is the last one of the club and that the higher ups have decided to give the giant room to another club and disband the Vanguard one… Thing that has him all depressed, after hearing his tale Shion felt the need to help him and by that he joins and both decides to go and talk to the higher ups for an opportunity to avoid the Vangaurd´s club destruction.
Both Henri and Shion starts talking and Shion encourages his Senpai to do the talk, Henri starts being very shy and with a trembling voice. It is not until he starts describing when he was at middle School and watched the finals of the Interschool championship between the Fukura´s Team (called Asteroids) formed by Ren, Asaka and Suiko against the Chinese invited team “Dreadnought” led by Leon and his twins… In the end Henri is able to describe with passion how Ren, even at being cornered he is able to make a comeback and defeat Leon!
Shion steps in after hearing that and makes an offering to the higher ups; that if they win the Under 20 Championship and manages to bring more members to the club then they will not disband it! The Higher ups agree, although the giant room will not be part of the Vangaurd´s club now, they will be relocated somewhere else.
After that the Vanguard Club is in the new room and both Henri and Shion talks, in the end Shion decides to challenge Henri and both starts fighting. This is because Shion needed to know if Henri had what it takes to win the Under 20 championship!
The fight goes somewhat slow, although it is mostly because Henri was just too shy and insecure, and his movements sucked because of it , still he managed to do some good moves even if his insecurities where taking the best of him. During the fight, Henri notices that and he even thinks that is pathetic, to make himself the loser even before the match started, it was disrespectful to Shion even! In the end Henri does some good moves, although Shion is still able to win.
After that Henri wanted Shion to be the leader; but Shion rejects such title, since the one true person who not only loves Vanguard; but this club, and it´s his superior is none other than Henri. So now Henri is the leader and the face of the Vanguard club! Still there is a problem… that they need another member, although Shion says that he has already someone in his mind, a person who also study here.
Also… Shion was another watcher of that final fight between Ren and Leon.
While this fight wasn´t as good, it make an incredible job to present us a new character and the evolution of a known one. Henri is interesting while Shion while has come back to how his life was in the G Season; he is not someone who wants to be the one in the spotlight anymore, instead he is trying to someone to get it´s own glitter and brilliance. Also the fact that this is a School that we watched in the original series (Link Joker) and even the fight that was only presented and now we know exactly how it ended, those things where added for the people who has watched since the original series; but showed in a way that even if you didn´t, It won´t make a big of a deal since it plays more like the inspiration of Henri.
The Chapter is a follow up of the past chapter, where we see how they try and make Rin to join in the Vanguard Club in order to enter the tournament. This is accomplished easily thanks to the speaking powers of Shion at the moment of manipulating people, which he does in this case by talking a lot about Mamoru in front of Rin, also by preparing her entrance similar to as a Princess.
This point Is important due to the fact that this show how the character of Shion has progressed and how he is not afraid of doing that kind of tactics of manipulation that he learned when he was poor and now uses it now that he is again part of the high class society.
There it is to say that Rin also is somewhat of a School Idol, this is due that besides Vanguard, she is a model so she is somewhat of a minor celebrity so the girls surrounds her and the boys are trying to make her his girlfriend, this attitude basically has made Rin to basically the ambivalence of her character since she loves the details and attention; but also she feels repugnancy for those people so in the end she looks at them above the shoulder. Ironically her attraction to Mamoru was because he was the first one who confronted and defeated her in both Vanguard and in philosophy/ethics since she used this card game to bully people, both known and strangers, making them regret their decision to challenge her… Thing that Mamoru stopped, her feelings at first where those of despise; but it wasn´t until Tokoha confronted her too that she started to change and even get to basically love Mamoru, although in a very tsundere way.
Continuing with the story, Mamoru gets to see Rin and he is happy to see how she, who went to a national tournament, is helping her teammates to get better! He sure is proud! At the same time he is telling Henri that he expects big things for him! Rin is basically at one moment delighted and in the other flustered, she wants Mamoru all by herself it seems.
In any case both Henri and Rin have an amazing fight where both shows the strength of their clans, especially Rin who used some truly good moves by using the Angel Feather clan! Playing with the damage zone like a master!
In the end the experience of Rin defeated Henri; but he wasn’t sad or anything, rather quite excited and happy… Also thanks to how Shion made his speech, the reaction of Henri and Mamoru. Rin will stay on the Fukuhara´s Vanguard Club.
In General these chapters have been strong and taking the right time to introduce the new plots, motivation and characters without making us feel like this is a chore, in fact is the opposite, showing a very good direction regarding the intentions of the characters. From Chrono´s team to Shion´s one. The only missing link is Tokoha; but surely she will appear in the future! Heck her team appears in the opening! In any case all of this chapters have been very good and if the series continues with this quality, we are in for a classic!
With that we get to end of the first 5 chapter of Cardfight!! Vangaurd G: NEXT so See ya in 5 or so weeks!